Vote Buying Characterised FCT Council Polls

Another resident of Nyanya, Hajia Usman commended INEC and security agencies for the orderly conduct of the election, saying in the polling unit where she voted, “everything went well and our hope is that our vote should count.”

Executive Director of Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Faith Nwadishi, who deployed over 150 observers for the FCT elections had at a pre-election news conference warned citizens against involvement in vote buying.

While calling on citizens to turn up en masse on Saturday to cast their votes for candidates of their choice, Nwadishi urged them to shun vote buying and trading as this diminishes their rights to make free choices.

“CTA wishes to remind citizens that vote buying is an offence and attracts jail terms. If there are no sellers, there will be no buyers,” she said.
https://tribuneonlineng.com/vote-buying-characterised-fct-council-polls-as-elections-hold-under-tight-security/

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council elections were held on Saturday under watertight security with restriction of movement in and out of the capital city by combined operatives of Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and officers of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

The exercise which went on smoothly in most parts of FCT, was however characterised by vote buying, as the two major political parties tried to induce candidates to vote for their candidates.

observed that there was large turnout of voters in most polling units in Nyanya axis of FCT, with a lot of them expressing satisfaction with the smooth conduct of the exercise.

All expressways into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were barricaded by the security operatives in compliance with the order on restriction of movement during the election period.

At the Mararaba/Nyanya boundary checkpoint, the police literally used their patrol vehicles to block the road even though those on essential duties were allowed after hectic time by the security agencies trying to make way for them.

We observed that representatives of some political parties positioned themselves strategically to canvass votes for their candidates for both the chairmanship and councillors.

The reporter was not wearing an accredited tag issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC), so it was easy for the party touts to approach him and tried to persuade him to vote for candidates of their parties.

At the polling unit in front of Assemblies of God Church, Area C, Nyanya, the reporter was approach by two young men and told him to vote for their party and that after casting vote in the ballot, he was expected to show his finger used for the thumbprint in order to get pay between N1,000 and N2,000.

One of the residents who simply gave his name as Nathaniel said he collected the N2,000 even though this did not influence his vote for candidates of his choice.

“I’m happy with the smooth conduct of the election. It is a good thing that we have another opportunity of voting for people to that will lead us at the third tier of governance and as can see, the turnout here is high.

“On inducement as you said, I was asked to collect N2,000 after voting which I did. You know these people after suffering for them and they win election, you won’t hear from them again. The money did not influence me; I voted for the candidate of my choice,” he said.

Another resident of Nyanya, Hajia Usman commended INEC and security agencies for the orderly conduct of the election, saying in the polling unit where she voted, “everything went well and our hope is that our vote should count.”

Executive Director of Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Faith Nwadishi, who deployed over 150 observers for the FCT elections had at a pre-election news conference warned citizens against involvement in vote buying.

While calling on citizens to turn up en masse on Saturday to cast their votes for candidates of their choice, Nwadishi urged them to shun vote buying and trading as this diminishes their rights to make free choices.

“CTA wishes to remind citizens that vote buying is an offence and attracts jail terms. If there are no sellers, there will be no buyers,” she said.

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